Wood or Metal Barns - which do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    If I can build a pole barn with metal siding, or have a slightly smaller wooden loft barn built.... which is the better deal? Eventual goals for the barn include using it for a garage, using it to sell fruits and veggies from, using it for "barn dances", and maybe putting a small apartment on one side.

    I think I can get a 24X44 loft barn built for about the same price as a 30X40 metal "morton-type" building. If I use the metal building, I'd need to add a cement floor, I think. Obviously the metal building will give me more space, but the loft barn has...well... a loft! :)

    Any preferences??

    Chris
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    For a building with no manure exposure I vote for all metal. If you have the "barn" waste to contend with go with wood.
     

  3. greenacresusa

    greenacresusa Well-Known Member

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    It does depend on what you want to use the barn for, as agmantoo said if you're looking at animals get the wood. I have a T-111 barn here with four stalls (soon to be five) and it works great. Just have to paint it every few years, takes a few days to do but it's worth it to me. Also I found for myself it's easier for me to "cut" in a new door (stall doors) or windows with the wood barn. Around here 3 out of 4 new barns tend to be wood, but then again we have lots of people with animals in their barns.
     
  4. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whatever you do, DONT make the roof metal. Its VERY loud. I have a stable with a metal roof and it drives the animals crazy.
     
  5. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    Our barn has a metal roof and the horses don't mind at all, except when a full load of snow slides off...then they startle a bit. Our cabin has a metal roof too, and it is no noisier than a conventional roof in the rain (it's insulated of course).
     
  6. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    Interesting. Why is that? I might want one cow, or one pig, or chickens in the future.
     
  7. Jane in southwest WI

    Jane in southwest WI Well-Known Member

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    We've got a metal pole barn with lots of windows and my husband complains it gets too hot inside there in the summer. There is usually a breeze, but still it gets too hot unless you have it shaded by trees (ours isn't). The metal siding is beige and the roof is green. It is not insulated, if it were maybe that would help.

    We put an ridge cap on it that lets light through and that was a big mistake. If we leave the overhead doors to the pole barn open, hummingbirds can get inside and then they see the light at the top of the roof and are trapped. Apparently they can't see the wide open door again to get out. At some point I have to get somebody out here to replace the ridgecap with a solid metal one, until then we have to leave the overhead doors shut.
     
  8. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    If you have animals in it, their manure will most likely rust the building anywhere it gets against the wall with a metal building. Also, moisture buildup can be a problem. Heat buildup in the summer also can create problems.

    About the only problem with wood is that it can burn, so fire is always a possibility.

    Wood wins for me. But depending on what your plans are for the building will probably dictate what to use.
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I assume you are talking a stud-wall wooden building.

    These are much better for dividing into rooms, insulating, running wiring, hanging stuff on the wall, etc.

    The metal pole sheds are much better for simple storage. Build it, & you won't have to mess with it for 25-30 years, if then. The wood building will need a lot of painting, small repairs, shingling (if you bother with _those_), and so on. Nickel & dime fussing.

    Since I want simple storage, I always will want a metal building.

    If you want heated, insulated, partitioned, etc. then the wood might make more sense for you, even tho it will cost you more over it's lifetime with the fuss stuff.

    As to livestock, they sweat, give off fumes, & have salty manure. They are a bad combination with anything else in a building, and really should have their own building. They like to rub & chew on any building, and will dent & rip a tin building quicker than a wood building - tho they are tough on either. If you have an open-sided building, a metal one will last as long as a wood one. But for an enclosed building, the fumes & liquids will rust out the metal long before they rot out a wood building. Need a concrete floor in any case for critters. You don't want your tools or vehicles in the same building as critters if it is enclosed - rust rust rust.

    Whatever you do, _always_ use a metal roof. You might want a barrier between the rafters & the metal - tar paper & craft paper, or some of the special thin insulation. This helps keep condensation off from critters or normal temp changes (and sound proofing if you have tempermental animals?). But a metal roof will last you 40 years, spray paint it with the alumnapaint & it will last another 20 years. Those ^%$$ tar roofs are worthless, I won't do any more asphalt on this farm other than the house. Always, always, always use good tin roof for a shed.

    With your mixed use & not real defined need for the shed, looks like you might prefer the wood one. I would take the metal one for me.... :)

    But, do a metal roof whatever you do!!!!!!!!!!!!

    --->Paul
     
  10. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Another vote for metal roofs. I've got one on my house and garage, and the barn/all out buildings on the farm I grew up on had one. Lighter colors or just plain aluminum/silver will be cooler. Unpainted roof panels are usually less expensive, and you can sometimes find them on E-Bay. Good Luck.

    Ramblin Wreck
     
  11. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    manure on wood rots thec wood just as qwik as manure on metal corodes it, if person wanted to keep it from happening they would need to add about 2-3 foot high side wall of concrete [which erodes eventually as well just takes a hundred more years] then build either wood or metal on top of that.

    having said the above, I personally prefer looking at a fading mone painted wood sided barn as the grey changes year after year to some degree or another..... and its what was built on the farm I grew up on, built in the mid 1930's [dad bought it in 1963 and sold out in 1988] and most of the building were still standing.... although the milking barn had lost its hay shed in 1974 do to 7 feet of drifted snow on top [was on the milk shed when the hay barn collapse happened shovel 4 feet of standing snow off] the dirt that splashes up on the siding will also eat away at the boards but it takes years.... Painting looks nice but the animals dont care what their shelter looks like.... and who cares what the neighbors think... its not their money spenton paint anyhow!

    Even if a person is just gonna pour a slab and raise up a shed for a garage/shop combination with some feed storage a wood built timber frame or pole barn is still effective and if painting the inside for lighting purposes takes more paint but is still nicer in my opinion...... but its what YOU have to look at that is gonna be YOUR concern!

    If you are building it yourself then metal goes up faster than wood if your final siding is baord and batt, T 1-11 covers airly nice but 9 foot sheets of shop grade cost me $25 3 years ago [sided the house with it] as opposed to $34 for number one sheets 5/8 inch [1/2 half inch is alright to use] with an 8 inch pattern. Painting T 1-11 is a pain to get it done right a person needs to spray it and back roll it....

    William